All vertebrate species present a segmented body, easily observed in the vertebrate column and its associated components, which provides a high degree of motility to the adult body and efficient protection of the internal organs. The sequential formation of the segmented precursors of the vertebral column during embryonic development, the somites, is governed by an oscillating genetic network, the somitogenesis molecular clock. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular clock operating during somite formation and its underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms. Human congenital vertebral malformations have been associated with perturbations in these oscillatory mechanisms. Thus, a better comprehension of the molecular mechanisms regulating somite formation is required in order to fully understand the origin of human skeletal malformations. © 2014 Tatiana P. Resende et al.
Resende, T. P., Andrade, R. P., & Palmeirim, I. (2014). Timing embryo segmentation: Dynamics and regulatory mechanisms of the vertebrate segmentation clock. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/718683